First Metcalfe store, Butler, WI

First Metcalfe store, Butler, WI

About Metcalfe's

Our Familys History

Our company was founded in 1917 by Henry and Teresa Hess (Tim & Kevin Metcalfe’s great-grandparents). Henry built the original store on North 124th Street in Butler, WI, a suburb of Milwaukee. The family lived on the second story and rented the store areas to the Milwaukee Cooperative Association, a co-op grocery whose members used their collective buying power to obtain lower prices on groceries.

In 1937, Henry sold the store to his son-in-law, Vern Metcalfe, and he and his wife Mary took over the business. About 10 years later, Vern and Mary built a new store just around the corner on North 125th Street and Hampton Avenue. The store was called Metcalfe IGA Super Market. Again, Vern and his family lived above the store. Because many people didn’t have cars at the time, Vern and Mary often delivered groceries right to their customers’ homes.

Tom Metcalfe, Meat Service Case, Butler, WI

Tom Metcalfe, Meat Service Case, Butler, WI

Tom Metcalfe, Vern’s son (Tim and Kevin’s father), was literally born into the family business in 1935. Tom and his younger brother Jerry started in the business at an early age by sacking potatoes, sorting bottles and helping their father pick up products at the warehouses and produce docks in downtown Milwaukee.

In 1958, Vern and his two sons expanded again and built one of Metcalfe’s current stores just blocks away. When they made this move they changed their affiliation from IGA to Sentry Foods, becoming one of the first Sentry affiliates in the state of Wisconsin.

The brothers branched out in 1969 by buying a Sentry store in Monona, Wisconsin, a suburb of Madison. Tom and his family moved to Monona where he ran that store until 1979 when the brothers closed the Monona store and purchased the Hilldale location. Tom bought out Jerry in 1989 and became CEO and President of the company. Tom’s first order of business was to expand and remodel the Hilldale store in 1990 to take care of his customer’s ever-growing needs. He added more than 10,500 feet, expanding all departments and improved the store’s décor. The remodeling brought the store to its highest sales level ever and won the “Best Store in Madison” award in 1991.

In 1999, Tom’s sons, Tim and Kevin, spearheaded another bold expansion of the family’s flagship store at Hilldale. The brothers focused on the perishable departments’ merchandising and lighting. The project was so successful that the store won two international awards for its creative design and again achieved a new high mark for sales, making Metcalfe’s Sentry Hilldale the #1 Sentry store in the state of Wisconsin.

In 2000, Tom’s two sons, Tim and Kevin Metcalfe, purchased the family business from Tom, becoming the fourth generation of Metcalfes to be in the grocery business. Tim took on the roll as President of grocery operations, while Kevin focused on the family’s real estate and development business.

In January of 2001, the Hilldale store branched out again, this time on the internet. Online grocery shopping with home delivery was now available. In April of 2001, the brothers expanded the company again by purchasing a Sentry Store in Waunakee, a suburb of Madison, WI.

In January of 2003, the brothers purchased a Rainbow store in the heart of the village district in downtown Wauwatosa.

In 2008, Metcalfe’s Markets became 100% Green Powered, offsetting 100% of their carbon dioxide emissions from their electricity use by purchasing clean, renewable energy.

Today, Tim and Kevin continue to focus on the Company’s steady growth and commitment to provide total customer satisfaction while offering only the best to the customers of Metcalfe’s Market.

1917 – Original store built in Butler, WI by Henry and Teresa Hess
1937 – Vern and Mary Metcalfe took over the business
1947 – Metcalfe IGA Super Market opens at North 125th & Hampton in Brookfield, WI
1958 – Metcalfe IGA moves to North 132nd & Hampton and reopened as Metcalfe’s Sentry
1969 – Metcalfe’s Sentry opens in Monona, WI (closed 1979)
1979 – Metcalfe’s Sentry Hilldale opens
1984 – First Brat Fest customer appreciation event at Hilldale
1989 – Tom Metcalfe became CEO and President
1990 – Metcalfe’s Sentry Hilldale remodel
1999 – Metcalfe’s Sentry Hilldale perishable department remodel
2000 – Tim Metcalfe became President and Kevin Metcalfe, Vice President
2001 – Online grocery shopping now available in Madison
2001 – Metcalfe’s Sentry Waunakee opens (closed 2004)
2003 – Metcalfe’s Sentry Wauwatosa opens
2008 – Metcalfe’s introduces the local Food Miles program
2008 – Metcalfe’s stores are 100% Green Powered



The Best Selection of Beef in Town!

  • Local & Sustainable

  • Kobe*

  • Prime

  • Dry-Aged*

  • Choice Black Angus

  • Grass-Fed

  • Organic

*Metcalfe’s Hilldale only.

Best in town?
You tell us!

Carl's Cakes

Contact our bakery department for all of our fabulous flavors and sizes, including local Carl’s Cakes at Hilldale.

Keep reusing your bags!

Money collected in our cafe tip jars is used to purchase reusable grocery bags that are donated to local schools, decorated by students and distributed for FREE on Earth Day.

Metcalfe’s Floral Studio guarantees more than 50 varieties of premium quality flowers and plants everyday (at grocery store prices)!

  • We Deliver
  • Open 24 Hours*
  • Walk-in Cooler*
  • 5-Day Flower Guarantee
  • Award-winning design

*Metcalfe’s Hilldale only.